Monday, April 21, 2014

"Picture me skating in dress pants and a tie!"

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: April 20, 2014 at 11:13:33 PM MDT

A few weeks ago I wrote yous a letter about diligence and tennis. My insights came from a talk by Elder Bednar that talks about not shrinking and about how Elder Maxwell endured well his trials with cancer and his insights from the experience.  I hope President Lew is ok. It sounds like he is "not shrinking" in the face of his trial. Please pray for President Lew that he does not shrink and that he recovers quickly.

General Conference was the best of my life. I was more zoned in than I ever have been. Going through my notes I found that I've learned too much to just make a summary but here are some gems I really liked.

Gratitude is a catalyst for all other Christ-like (or desirable) qualities. -President Uchtdorf

My brain still thinks in terms of sports. You look a Lionel Messi, well I haven't seen him in ten months but, he says very little. He talks a little and achieves a lot. He is humble and continues to want to learn and improve. His gratitude is what has kept him from becoming arrogant. He keeps things in perspective. So he, as of ten months ago, still hasn't peaked. The only path to our full potential runs along a stream called gratitude. Stay thirsty my friends... :D

Some people think that happiness is not carrying anything. Happiness is about carrying the right load. -Elder Bednar

This goes along with Elder Holland's talk. He said,

"Some people don't want a God that will rock their boat, some people don't even want God to row their boat." -Elder Holland

In order for us to reach our desired destination we have to let God load us up and rock the boat. It may be hard sometimes, but submitting everything is always the easiest route in the long run. Leave your old Sodom-self and never look back.

I love Elder Dallin H. Oak’s talk on the rights of the priesthood vs. the keys of the Priesthood. I think men and women ought to read this talk and study D&C 121:33-46. We recite this passage every morning in companion study and it is a gift that keeps on giving. It teaches me what I must do to have the powers of Heaven active in my life.

On my mission I have met so many people that believe that Christ is real but deny his power in their lives. Elder Christofferson talked about how if Christ did resurrect and that he was more that "just a great teacher or leader” but He was in reality the Son of God.

William R. Walker said, "The more connected we are to our righteous forefathers, the more likely we are to make wise and righteous decisions." When I am done with my mission I will be doing heaps of temple work and family history. I can't think of anything else that can bring the same spirituality as missionary work except temple work

I love my companion. It took two weeks but it came. This last week I got to skateboard!! It was so flippin' cool! These five skaters were skating in the parking lot when we rocked up and it's private property so I had to kick them out. But first I had to show them how it's done. I borrowed one of their shoes and stomped and fakie flip perfectly on my second attempt. Haha I love the weird things you do on your mission. Next time I see them I'll get a picture of me skating in dress pants and a tie!! Best day ever!

Yesterday we were visiting a less active member in the hospital when a different man came up to us and told us he's a less active member and an Aaronic priesthood holder. We'll go visit him tomorrow at the hospital. I love those miracles. I love using my talents... and my companion. Because he's a cowboy I get him to make all the bogans feel like city folk. It's pretty sweet!

Love you all.

Elder Weiss

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Yas really picked me up."

Date: April 13, 2014 at 7:55:53 PM MDT

Dear Family.

I read in Mosiah about King Limhi's people. When Ammon went and found them they asked if he could baptize them like Alma baptized and started the Church of God. He refused them because he didn't feel worthy and because there was nobody that had authority in the land. It is a great example of the importance of authority. It seems that these days when someone doesn't have authority they just fake it or make up their own authority. I studied this big long scripture chain in the Bible that proves you need authority and then the Book of Mormon explains it in two verses. I love all the scriptures but the Book of Mormon cuts off so much fluff.

Last night we had a Branch Correlation meeting with our Branch President and Branch Mission Leader. We went over the progress record and discussed how to get the members involved. Without us asking President Reiri just started making phone calls to these people trying to set things up and see how they're doing. We talked about how our zone/the district is striving for five lessons provided by ward members. He listened and we discussed and then finally he said, "That's it. We'll be the first Branch to get five member lessons in a week." I love Bathurst Branch. Our members are so solid. I've come to connect and love everyone in such a short time. I hope to stay her a while.

I love studying the fundamentals. I've spent the last little while studying the Bible a lot and understanding the gospel from the stick of Judah. But something was missing. It's time to get back to the basics. Preach My Gospel and the 12 week Program. Something I learned about trying to help others to pray at the end of a lesson is to really push the relationship between them and God and pull away any emphasis of our personal relationship with them. Saying, "Please will you pray?" comes from you. However, saying "I know your Heavenly Father is wanting you to pray and he wants you to be a spiritual example for your kids" is much more powerful. In the name of Jesus Christ we invite them. Not in our own names. How special is that. The authority which we have as servants of the Lord is real and fantastic.

Things with my new companion were really hard at first but we are getting along much better now. He's from “Canadar" as the Aussies would say. A Mormon town called Raymond. It's like Canadian Utah. They have release time seminary and everything.

A little more than a week ago, one of our less active members went to the hospital. He's mostly confined to a wheel chair but could get up and walk with crutches. He's a three time parolympian for archery. He's always been a bit rough around the edges and resisted anytime we tried reading the Book of Mormon with him. But he started having extreme pain in his legs about two weeks back. He went to the hospital and they think he has some kind of nerve damage. He can't get up and walk with how bad the pain is. If things don't get better he'll be going to a old folks home at 62 years of age.

We went up to visit him and as soon as we walked in he got the biggest grin on his face. "It's bloody good to see ya mate". He told us "Yas really picked me up." Now he's asking his wife to bring up his old scriptures and he's going to start reading again. Sometimes the Lord has to bring us low before he lifts us higher. It makes me feel really important to be able to lift people up like that. Arthur is that man! He's rougher than the bush but has a heart of gold. I wish you could all meet him. I'll never be able to forget about this one till the day I day (die)!
(Small miracle. Just got the details of this Kiwi lady sitting next to me! "I will go before thee.." COME ON!! VAMOS!)

Love you heaps,

Elder Weiss

Samuel the Lamanite (Aussie style) and Massive Moth Pictures

Massive Moth Bug Creature

Samuel the Lamanite-ing Bathurst from the top of Mt Panorama

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Orange Zone (Excerpt from Mission Newsletter)

This is a page from the Mission Newsletter about Orange Zone (aka "Citrus").
Below text is the gory pic of the road kill referred to.  Pic was not published in the newsletter.

Contrary to popular belief, Missionaries banished out to the Sydney Orange Mission do occasionally see one another. This happens once every couple weeks when we may have District or Zone Meeting, and even at times a Zone P-day. Due to the lack of opportunity to see one another we take Zone P-day very seriously. (See Elder Weiss' Inflation Theorem Es- say) 

Zone P-day is typically filled with food followed by an extremely ob- scure and dangerous game discovered by Elder Carver called GatorBall. When we aren't all together you can generally catch Elder McArthur down fishing at the river in Cowra or playing his Didgeridoo. 

But as hard as we play we work even harder. On some days you'll catch Elder Angala and Elder Porter driving out to (but not becoming) Trunky. (See Hymn Book, "The Time is Far Spent") Or you might catch the Finn- ish and Canadian Duo, Elder Laitinen and Elder Hunt, doing Parkour as they call the Mudge Pudge to repentance. (See Mudgee, NSW) Or maybe you'll find Elder Janes and Elder Randle on a Saturday Night with fellow Dubbstompians [See Dubbstomp (See Dubbo)] playing a friendly neigh- bourhood game of Footy at the Chapel. 

If you ever get the chance to drive out here, you will see many Roos and Wallabies that have become tragic victims to road kill. When you see our Marsupial friends (See Marsupial in Dubbo Zoo) lying on the side of the road, remember our beloved Father Moyes who has recently gone the way of all the Earth. 

In all seriousness we love the Orange Zone. We think it's the best Zone in all the Mission. (See President Lew) We hope that some day the Lord will bless you with the opportunity to come out to the Orange Zone, other- wise we'll see you if we ever make the pilgrimage back to Sydney. 

Love you Heaps!
The Orange Zone (See Citrus) 

Many Roos and Wallabies become tragic victims to road kill.

Beautiful Bathurst and Aussie Road Kill

On my mission I have learned the necessity of understanding the truth of the restored Gospel through the bible; however, it takes so much searching and pondering to find the truth and understand the words properly in the Bible. I love reading the Book of Mormon and seeing how clear it all is. I guess the way I perceive the Bible is like a new missionary that doesn't explain things really clear and simple so what he says is true but it takes so much deciphering to get what he is trying to communicate. Whereas, the Book of Mormon is like a seasoned missionary that teaches with short powerful statements of truth. It is a powerful book.

I read in Mosiah 15:24-25 that backs up our belief in the spirit world and that all will have a chance to learn about the gospel. It says that those who did not have "salvation declared unto them" while they were alive will come forth in the first resurrection and be heirs of the Kingdom of God. "And little children also have eternal life." So clear!

Unfortunately I have no experiences preaching by the way this week. I think it was because we were so busy with driving to and from and attending meetings but I know that is something Elder Roberts and I will focus on as we both like GQing. But not to fear we are working with the members and not go GQing. We don't go GQing, GQing comes with us. :)

I am really excited to have Elder Roberts as a companion. I think I'll learn heaps from him. He seems like a really nice guy and a really motivated missionary! My miracle is that we got home by 9pm and were able to plan properly. I love planning and Elder Moyes and I were out teaching till after nine that it really hurt our daily planning but Elder Roberts and I are on the same page about that so we are going to have really good nightly planning sessions.

I know I'm not you (President Lew) and I don't receive revelation for transfers but I'm just gonna put this out there. I could stay here for a long time and be really happy. And then I could go train in the Spanish ward. Just a thought.. but really I love Bathurst! The branch is a model for how branches should work and I hope the branch sees lots of success in the coming months.

Love you heaps, Elder Weiss
Here's some pictures of some crazy things I've done and seen here down under! Btw they use the legs to feed the dogs... and yes it is that pretty!

The race car track is world famous! And it's open to the public to drive on although there are speed limits and cops up there. None the less I can't even imagine drive so parts of that course. It's supposed to be on some video games. Maybe Jon can race it on that racing game.